Home Based Female Workers Earning a Pittance

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Home Based Female Workers Earning a Pittance:
Karachi (March 7, 2011): Home based female workers must get a minimum salary of Rs7,000 as has been stated by the law, stressed members of HomeNet Pakistan on Monday while highlighting the plight of women in the country.
Speaking at the Karachi Press Club, social activist Farhat Parveen said that 20 million women are working in homes and are earning very little. She added that they make up 65 percent of the total number of women working in the country. Parveen pointed out that they are involved in making tube-lights, bangles, shoes, sewing and packing clothes.
“These women are the most suppressed of all workers,” she said, while reading out the recommendations made in the national policy to address the issues faced by these working women.
The recommendations include the formation of a council to deal with health issues of the workers, ensure an increase in their wages, the provision of security and the strengthening of their trade unions.
Home-based worker Rehana Yaseen pointed out that as part of the registration process initiated by the EOBI; female workers have to pay Rs420 a month to the old-age fund. She questioned how a woman who was earning a mere Rs1000 per month could afford to sacrifice such a large portion of her salary. Yaseen also said that those women earning between Rs3,000 and Rs4,000 a month may have to work for over 12 hours a day.
“These days a large number of small industries are based out of homes and in these cases, it’s the owners who benefit the most as their costs are reduced by a great deal. However, the female home-based workers suffer the most as the price they are wage for every piece they produce is meagre,” she added.
Sabiha Shah of Lyari Community Development said that in neighbouring countries, the law comes to the aid of women who toil at home. “Our government must learn and provide protection for these women.”

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